Sept. 22, 2013
Sometimes you have a real power struggle with yourself, you want to do the right thing but are worried that you may upset some folks along the way. So I am at a cross roads, I really don’t give bad reviews, I just don’t talk about the bad things only the good. I am going to try to do that, but with one disclaimer about Momed, come for the food and not the service.
This restaurant offers high-end Mediterranean food with less fuss. It is like a typical lunch spot on South Beverly Drive, but offers sustainable mostly organic well thought out mediterrean plates. Momed embraces the pure, simple flavors from the many countries that comprise the eastern Mediterranean region with a vibrant modern twist. From the arc of the Levant, from Athens to Marrakech, Istanbul to Jerusalem, Eastern Mediterranean cuisine is synonymous with a healthy diet and where possible, all their ingredients are locally produced, seasonal and organic.
Here’s what I tried:
Salmon Benedict, sustainable Atlantic salmon, organic poached eggs, spinach, saffron hollandaise, dirty potatoes. This brunch dish is the reason to go here for brunch, great ingredients, great flavors, a must have menu item.
Mushroom Omelet, trio of wood-roasted mushrooms, akawi cheese, za’star potatoes. A good filling omelet is all I can say.
All served with Pita Bread
Muhammara – roasted red pepper, walnuts, pomegranate, this one was my favorite spread, it had great sweet and nutty flavors.
Ikra – charred eggplant, tomato, red onion, and cilantro. I like this one with all its very healthy vegetable combination.
Mediterranean salad with Persian cucumbers, vine-ripened tomato, a good blend with a nice dressing.
Lentil salad – carrot, celery, feta, great for a vegetarian diet, good comfortable flavors.
Hummus – garbanzo beans, tahini, garlic, hits the spot with its nice subtle seasonings.
Tzatziki – cucumbers, mint, lebneh, what this does is refreshes the palate.
House pickles – seasonal vegetables, they were cauliflower and carrots, blanched and tasty.
Chicken with Israeli couscous, spinach, and good substantial chicken flavor, like Mom’s chicken soup.
Chopped Med, romaine, arugula, mint, dill, parsley, chioggia beets, walnuts, dried currants, labne yogurt dressing
with shrimp. This was one of the dishes where I should have got the whole salad, but instead they gave me a ramekin full. So even though I liked this salad a lot, I did not have enough of it, and was unable to see its complete presentation.
Lamburger, cucumber yogurt, house-made challah bun. The burger is cooked perfectly and is huge; this was a standout menu item for me.
Spicy Grilled Shrimp, lemon, herbs, Mediterranean Sea salt, greens, I like this too, and it had great punch and nice sour nuances.
Chicken Breast Skewer, yogurt marinade, chickpea/aiolo greens. The chicken was tender and had a nice flavor, but the real showstopper was the lovely rice, with vermicelli in it. It had a sweet cinnamon flavor to it.
Pide Flatbreads, from their wood oven:
Three mushroom; Trio wood roasted mushrooms, portbello, crimini, button, beet greens, akawi cheese. The crust is very good, with a gracious amount of mushrooms; this flatbread is for the mushroom aficionado.
Hand Rolls/ Mediterranean Wraps:
Falafel, cilantro tahini, tomatoes, pickled turnips, and greens. Not your typical falafel less is more for this one.
Pita Burger, Ground chuck, oven-blistered tomatoes, baby romaine, red onions, garlic aioli. This one got lost in it’s smaller size for my tasting, could not figure this burger out.
DBLTA, apple wood –smoked duck bacon, vine rip tomato, baby romaine, and avocado. I had the duck bacon at a kosher event this past year, and what I love about it is that you really don’t know its not pork. It has the same smoky flavor, and tastes just like pork bacon. I loved this sandwich, and what a novel idea!
Chicken Tarragon with Granny Smith apples, Turkish apricots, celery, red onions, garlic aioli. This one was a little too dry for my tastes, if they amped up their garlic aioli I would have screamed for more.
Here are the wines I tried:
2010 Galil Mountain, Chardonnay, Upper Galilee, Israel (Kosher) this wine was a pleasant surprise, my favorite of all of them, and worked nicely with the shrimp dish.
2011 Calera, Chardonnay, Central Coast, California, nice and light a good match with the chopped salad.
2011 Jules Taylor, Pinot Gris, Marlborough, New Zealand. This wine has that typical strong New Zealand fruit acidity, so it worked with the chicken salad with the Turkish apricots.
2010 Tangent, Sauvignon Blanc, Edna Valley, California. The spreads worked great with this fruit forward wine.
2010 Ministry of the Vinterior, Pinot Noir, Sonoma County. I loved this wine with the 2 mushroom dishes, it was soft yet could stand up to the woodsy flavors of the mushrooms.
2010 The Seventy Five Wine Company, “The Sum” California Red Wine, Napa Valley. This wine went great with the lamb burger, perfect characteristics in a meritage wine.
Ok so getting back to the bad parts, I really need to step up to the plate on this one! This place is very busy, lots of families, but really not that many tables for it to have been that busy and suffer from lack of service. It used to be a counter order type of restaurant, meaning you order your food at the counter and they give you number and bring your food to you. In the last few months they transitioned to a sit down full table service restaurant. The problem is that you can really feel the transition.
My server took my order and then pretty much stayed behind the counter and had other employees deliver my food. The bus boy was truly the worst, and there was no language barrier. I asked him for a to go packaging and he said yes and then went about cleaning tables and pushing in chairs instead of helping me out. When I asked the waitperson about that she said oh no he won’t be able to do that for a long time…Really!
The staff just did not seem happy; they were all doing their jobs like robots. I always get personal fun stories from the wait staff and managers about their journey. I heard nothing from anyone; they were too busy not paying attention to me. Raymond the manager did offer up some much needed knowledge about Alex and their philosophy, but that too was like pulling teeth!
Wow, I thought this is a service industry and that the customer is always right, they need some quick training on how to give better service, or at least service with a smile. The only saving grave was 1 server who was not mine, but she brought over my cappuccino, and that as Fallon, named after the character on Dynasty, she had the voice of an angel and a smile to match. Fallon brightened my day and experience, too bad she was not with me the whole time.
So what more can I say about Momed, don’t go with high expectations and hopefully you will be happy with their straight forward take on Mediterranean Foods.